BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If you live or work in Baltimore, you’ve probably seen Daudi Boma. But the rush of the day may have prevented you from taking notice of him.
You will not be able to see it at first glance, but Boma has a wealth of world knowledge because of his many travels throughout his lifeREAD MORE: Johns Hopkins Hosts COVID-19 Vaccination Virtual Course
“I was in London and Germany. I went to London and Hamburg,” Boma said.
But nowadays, Boma’s travels are exclusively around Baltimore.
“I’m pretty much in every place in Baltimore now, from west to east,” he said. “If I put it all together probably I do like, no less than 10 miles a day.”
Daudi’s commute around the city is not voluntary, he moves and keeps walking as a matter of survival because Daudi is homeless.
“I’m just so tired of being homeless,” said Daudi. “I thought I was going to die last night, I’m not going to lie because it was cold – got on my feet and then the whole body you see all the stuff I got – – I still was cold.”
He is one of the hundreds of people who are forced to sleep on the streets in the city of Baltimore. But Boma has an unexpected story that may surprise many people who may see him sleeping out in public.
“I was born in a middle-class family, my mom works for the government, my dad was a diplomat. So I had a chance to travel around the world. I’ve been to Europe, I’ve been to Asia.”
Boma was born in Tanzania, and when another opportunity came for him to travel to America for college, he didn’t hesitate to take the chance. He arrived in America in 2001 and was eager to start his new life.
“I remember it was cold, but see I was so excited to go to college so my whole mindset was about school and everything,” says Boma.
Boma had a scholarship but it was just one semester, so when the money ran out he decided to get a job. Boma eventually came to Maryland at the urging of friends, and he’d hoped the visit would have just been for the summer, but that wasn’t the case.
“They said well you can come up here and work for summertime and after summer, you can get enough money to pay for the tuition. But that’s what I thought, but what came to be the reality was not like that.”READ MORE: Volunteers Help Afghan Refugees With Food And Supplies
The seasons changed, but his fortune did not, and with the passage of time, another misfortune came. Boma fell off a forklift machine while working. After weeks in the hospital and physical therapy, he thought he was out of the woods, but then he started to have seizures.
The seizures meant Boma could no longer keep a job without the risk of a seizure.
“If you get seizure disorder you’re really a liability,” says Boma. “Since I cannot get a job nowhere, that’s how I end up on the street.”
Every day, Boma walks the streets. There is safety when he keeps moving.
“To me, it’s the safest thing to do. If you don’t stay in one spot nobody sees you.”
He is also on a constant quest to find food. He often goes to the Daily Bread for lunch and after that, he continues to walk the streets in search of food in the evening hours.
Boma was able to come up with $25 in order to get his college transcript from Concordia College in Alabama. Boma has credits for some of the classes he took.
He was working on becoming an accountant before he had to drop out for financial reasons. Boma said he still has the knowledge and he’s able to do tax returns or even complete the books for businesses.
Boma says he hopes to continue with his college education. He said Baltimore City Community College would allow him to transfer his credits from Concordia College, but he has no way to pay — this is why he wishes someone would hire him instead of writing off his seizures as a liability.
Until that opportunity comes, Boma will have to search for a safe place to sleep each night and hope the next day will bring a new opportunity.
“Do you have hope for the future?” asked WJZ’s Ava-joye Burnett.MORE NEWS: Wizards Get Dominated At Home By The Celtics
“I do. That’s the only thing I have left I think,” Boma said. “Because I don’t know when good things are gonna happen, I don’t know when bad things are going to happen, so I just keep hope.”